Members of the British parliament have voted by a majority of one, to force the prime minister to ask for an extension to the Brexit process in a bid to avoid any no deal scenario.
The guardian reported that “A cross-party group of MPs, led by Oliver Letwin and Yvette Cooper, forced through a bill in less than six hours to instruct Theresa May to seek an extension to article 50 and avoid a no-deal Brexit.”
Wednesday’s event has been described as rare as backbenchers don’t usually take control of parliamentary business and force through legislation in just one day. The situation has come about because Theresa May has no Commons majority and some Conservative MPs are willing to work with opposition parties to thwart a hard Brexit.
The article went on to explain that the bill passed through the Commons by just one vote, is another unusual occurrence. Fiona Onasanya, a former Labour and now independent MP, voted in favour of the bill, prompting outrage among some Brexiters who believe she should have stood down following a jail sentence for repeatedly lying to avoid a speeding charge.
Minutes before the narrow first vote, an amendment from Labour’s Hilary Benn, which would have allowed MPs to hold further indicative votes, was blocked in extraordinary circumstances, as the Speaker, John Bercow, was forced to make the casting vote after a tied result.
The bill is going to the House of Lords, where there is a strong majority against a hard Brexit. However, there are more opportunities to filibuster in the Lords, where every amendment can be debated and voted on. Some hardline Tory peers may try to talk endlessly to waste time and delay the process but Labour sources in the Lords still believe it is pretty likely to pass though.